The Resentment of Royal Procession Put to Satire

Solomon represented to the Shulammite in Song 3:6–11 the total opposite of what she experienced in finding in Song 3:1–5. In the first five verses there is a longing to find her lover and never let him go if she could! In the latter verses there is a new scene almost revelation like vision in reverse. It is a satire of sorts portraying resentment as the Solomon is displayed in an array of power (cf. Provan). His chariot is not one that goes to conquer for his wives, but one that has trodden over his sexual victims (Ibid). There is no indication that this is a wedding, but only a reminder that there was a wedding (v.9). The Shulammite looking upon “the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding” is none other than Bathsheba’s awarding Solomon his father’s Shunnamite (Same woman likely from 1 Kings 1:1–4). As this bride viewed the whole matter, this was not a man she would ever wish to take home, but one that she would want to get away from as soon as she could, so as to be with her true Shepherd lover, one who knew how to treat a woman.

Song 3:6–11 ESV “What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?

Behold, it is the litter of Solomon! Around it are sixty mighty men, some of the mighty men of Israel,

all of them wearing swords and expert in war, each with his sword at his thigh, against terror by night.

King Solomon made himself a carriage from the wood of Lebanon.

He made its posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; its interior was inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem.

Go out, O daughters of Zion, and look upon King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.”

It is also possible to view this picture of Solomon’s house being built or raised up. Provan (a top commentator on the book) does language studies that are convincing toward this being a stationary structure where Solomon’s throne was. Perhaps it is best to view the picture as one arising of Solomon’s kingdom that while it looked beautiful to the babylonian daughters of Jerusalem, the Shulammite knew better, it stung as she saw it—He may be glad, but this woman without her Shepherd in such situation was sad.

The false shepherd’s voice will appear now in 4:1–7 (a pornographic mind), and be contrasted with 4:8–5:1 (respectful views of body and soul).